OTTAWA – Sometimes factors align that cause one to make a change.
That was the case for Ottawa High School head baseball coach Brent Moore, who stepped down from the position this week, his resignation approved at Monday’s school board meeting.
“I had a check up with my cardiologist recently, and the numbers didn’t come back where they or I would like them to be,” said Moore, who will remain as the girls varsity head coach, a position he has held since 2015. “It’s nothing alarming, but definitely something that made me start to think about things.
“This summer, being around my three younger kids, coaching my son’s soccer team and my daughter getting into golf now, it kind of just made me realize that I couldn’t continue to coach both sports. It was the mix of both that led me to the decision to step away from baseball.”
Moore, a 2002 Ottawa graduate, played baseball four years for the Pirates and competed two more years at Illinois Valley Community College for the nationally ranked Eagles. He was the sophomore coach at Streator for two seasons and spent eight years as the head coach of the Ottawa sophomores before becoming the varsity head coach.
In his two full seasons, with the 2019-20 season cancelled because of COVID-19, the Pirates were 28-21-1, including going 13-7-1 this spring. Ottawa reached the Class 3A regional championship, falling to eventual fourth-place Washington, 3-1.
“I love coaching both baseball and basketball, but the thought process was also in the spring and summer the weather allows me to do so much more with my kids, while the winter months you really can only do stuff in the gym. Being a head coach of two main sports is a grind. Something had to give,” Moore said.
“We are very appreciative of the time Brent was the head baseball coach here at Ottawa High School,” OHS Athletic Director Mike Cooper said. “He did an excellent job, represented the school well on and off the field, much like I know he will continue to do with the girls basketball program here. He brought great energy to the program and was 100% into it from the first day he was hired until the final game this spring.
“I know he loves the game of baseball, but he also had to make the best decision for himself and his family.”
Cooper said he expects the job to be advertised in-house first in the next few days and offered outside the school thereafter. He hopes to have a decision by the September or October board meeting.”
“We had such a fun season and met so many goals we had set,” Moore said. “The regional semifinal against Morris [the Pirates scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh] was right at the top of the list as exciting games go.
“There is also so much really good talent returning next spring, so that made the choice tougher for sure, but I feel it’s the right choice for me and my family to just focus on girls basketball moving forward.”